Some developers go above and beyond when it comes to heritage

City of Charlottetown presents awards for preserving history

Dave Stewart
Published on February 18, 2016

Charlottetown developer Chris Tweel, pictured with his wife, Brenda, was recognized twice by the City of Charlottetown during the heritage awards ceremony. He received an award for his work on restoring the building at the corner of Kent and Great George streets, which is now occupied by McInnes Cooper. Tweel also received the Catherine Hennessey Heritage Award which is given to a person or group whose efforts increase the appreciation of the city and whose views stimulate love for the community.

©Guardian photo

Vision, commitment and pride - those are key factors when it comes to preserving history for future generations, says one Charlottetown developer.

The City of Charlottetown handed out the annual heritage awards on Tuesday, recognizing those individuals and groups who have gone above and the beyond the call of duty.

It was a big day for developer Chris Tweel. He received a heritage award for the extensive restoration at 141 Kent St., a building that has been known by many names over the years.

It has been home to Stanley, Shaw and Peardon's Plumbing, W.E. Dawson, Lord's Pharmacy and Sam The Record Man, to name a few.

Tweel said it was a collaborative effort. He thanked Bob Sear, his electrical engineer, structural engineer Sheldon Tweel for keeping him on the "straight and narrow'', contractor Fitzgerald and Snow's Vernon McQuillan and Downtown Charlottetown Inc.'s Dawn Alan.

"It was a complex project,'' Chris Tweel told The Guardian. "Everyone who worked on this, they took as much pride in it.''

He noted that bringing a building back to life also takes a tenant with vision. In this case, that is Gary Scales of McInnes Cooper, which occupies the top three floors.

"I want to commend him for having the vision to commit to this project and putting his trust in us to deliver what we said we would deliver on.''

Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the heritage committee, said enough can't be said about Chris Tweel's efforts on 141 Kent St., as well as the Tweel building across the street which, until recently, housed Starbucks.

"I just think they are two pivotal pieces of the city. It's such a landmark of the city,'' Rivard said.

Mayor Clifford Lee also presented Chris Tweel with the Catherine Hennessey Heritage Award, given annually to a person or organization whose efforts have increased the appreciation of Charlottetown and whose views have stimulated love for the community.

Downtown Charlottetown Inc. (DCI) received a heritage award for its work to restore the name of Great George Street between Grafton Street and Euston Street.

"It's a great emblem of perseverance and patience,'' said Alan, executive director of DCI.

Harry T. Holman is another award recipient, recognized for creating the blog, a website that explores the history of the city's waterfront and harbour.

He gave nearly all the credit to the public archives and UPEI, which digitized newspapers for those looking for historical information.

"In reality, I harvest the information from others,'' Holman said. "People who have deposited records and made them available are extremely important in realizing the history of our city.''

And, John Andrew was honoured for the promotion and restoration of the Wright's Creek Watershed, as well as collecting history on East Royalty and Wright's Creek.

"It's an opportunity to bring back the history of the Wright's Creek area,'' Andrew said about his collections.

That area on the eastern end of the city was once quite an industrial area. It was home to sawmills and a brewery.

Andrew said credit should also go to Darren Riggs, who has also worked hard on the restoration efforts.

Historic pictures of the renamed portion of Great George Street are on display in the windows of participating business along both sides of the street until Feb. 29.


Chris Tweel - Extensive renovation of the building at 141 Kent Street, currently occupied by McInnes Cooper

Downtown Charlottetown Inc. - Restoration of the name Great George Street on a stretch of road between Province House and Euston Street that had been part of University Avenue

Harry T. Holman - Creation of the Internet blog, which explores the history of Charlottetown's waterfront and harbour

John Andrew - The promotion and restoration of the Wright's Creek Watershed and collection relating to the history of East Royalty and Wright's Creek